tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 21, 2015 8:30pm-10:31pm EDT
their enterprise. >> do you have any perspective having been general counsel to prominent companies lock even rich water associates now is the director of the fbi and a former u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york and a lot of general counsel xing different companies. given that perspective having been in general counsel and occupying high-level positions in the government about what you see the role of the general counsel inside the company is in relation to cybersecurity in relation to the chieftains -- information security of the company the cio and the board and the ceo? >> they are mostly obstructionist. [laughter] it's one of the reasons why we as a country and congress is making good progress on this have to offer clarity to those gc's. the chief information security
officers think about the world the way we do our security professionals. the general counsels are rightly worrying about things like liabilities so what will happen again if this leaks what will happen? will this be used against us in the competition? the government contractor supplies something so what happens to that end is there an incentive not to reveal things because my competitors not revealing them? antitrust questions people often raise. those are the gc questions which i is to ask myself so they are good questions. congress has to give comfort to those general counsels to remove those concerns from the information sharing pipeline and i think they are well underway. that's fairly easy to fix harder to fix would be, not sex but to develop would-be machine speed sharing in the hardest of all frankly is the cultural impediments that i attribute to be -- there's a lot of people who don't want to be seen with us.
i will make meet you behind the 7-eleven in the dark but i don't want to be seen as cooperative with the government. that's hard to get that back. that requires time and lots and lots of conversations to explain to people well no here's what we do. here are our authorities that there is a wind still blowing in the wake of that is kind of the cultural impediment to sharing that's part of one of the impediments to effective cooperation. >> that raises the issue of what you spoke about in terms of the fbi what is referred to as going dark. i wonder if you could explain what is being referred to end what we talk about what the f. d. i going dark and what can we do to address the issue? >> what i mean by that is increasingly communications at rest sitting on the device or in motion are encrypted. the device is encrypted or the communication is encrypted and
therefore unavailable to us even with the court order. so i make a showing of probable cause to a judge in a criminal case or an intelligence case to a net federal judge that a contact of a particular device or communication stream should be collected pursuant to her statutory authority and the judge approves. increasingly we are finding ourselves unable to read what we find or unable to open the device and that is a serious concern. i am actually i think encryption is a good thing. i think there are tremendous societal benefits to encryption. as one of the reasons the di tells people not only to lock your cars but you should encrypt things that are important to you to make it harder for thieves to take them. we have a collision that's going on in this country that's getting closer and closer to an actual head on which is our important just in privacy which i am passionate about and are
important interest in public safety. the logic of universal encryption is inexorable that our authority under the fourth amendment an amendment that i think is critical to liberty with the right predication in the right upper site to obtain information is going to become increasingly relevant. all of our lives become digital the logic of encryption is all of our lives will be storing encryption and therefore all of our lives and i know there are no criminals here but including the lives of criminals and terrorists and spies will be in a place that is utterly unavailable to court-ordered process and that i think to a democracy should be very concerning. i think we need to have a conversation about it. how do we strike the right balance? privacy matters tremendously. public safety matters
tremendously to everybody. fair-minded people have to recognize there are tremendous benefits to society for encryption. there are tremendous cost to society from universal strong encryption and how do we think about that? a group of tech companies and prominent folks were the letter to the president yesterday and i frankly found it depressing because their letter contains no acknowledgment that there are societal cost to universal encryption. i recognize the challenges facing our tech companies. regulatory challenges overseas i recognize the benefits of encryption but i think fair-minded people also have to recognize the costs associated with that so i read this letter and i think these folks don't see what i see or they are not fair-minded. either one of those things is depressing to me so i have to continue to have a conversation. i don't know the answer but i don't think democracy suggest -- drift to point where suddenly
law enforcement will save the fourth amendment is an awesome thing but we can't access any information. we have to have a conversation long before the logic of strong encryption takes us to that place and smart and reasonable people will disagree mightily. technical people say it's too hard. my reaction to that is really too hard for the people that we love in this country to figure something out? i'm not that pessimistic. i think we have to have a conversation. >> speaking of authorities and having conversation section 215 of the patriot act inspired -- expires on june 1 in about 10 days and there's a legislative process going on right now. we don't know what the outcome of that is going to be. wonder if you could talk about the impact on the fbi and what the consequences of any would be if you were to lose section 215 authority which is often talked about in the context of a telephony metadata program but i understand its use by the fbi more broadly in the friday of
ways and would there be any impact in terms of losing section 2 of the teen authorities that were allowed to expire? >> a lot of focus on 215 is on the nsa's telephony metadata base. should that be with the nsa should be held by individual telephony providers and access by the nsa and that's an important discussion. that's a useful tool to the fbi so it's a conversation i care about but they are critical tools to the fbi that are going to sunset on june 1 that people don't talk about. the first is section 215 is the vehicle through which the nsa telephony database was assembled but we use section 215 in individual cases and very important circumstances fewer than 200 times a year. we go to the fisa court in a particular case and get particular records that are important to a
counterintelligence investigation or counterterrorism investigation. if we lose that authority which i don't think is controversial with folks that is a big problem because we will find yourselves in circumstances where we can't use a grand jury subpoena or we can't use of national security letter unable to obtain information with a court approval that i think everybody wants us to be able to obtain an individual cases. the second one that's a big problem is the real thing wiretap authorities that expire on june 1. this is an authority we have had in criminal cases since the early mid-80s where if a drug dealer or criminal is dropping phones repeatedly the judge can give authority to intercept any individual's communications no matter what device they are on so we don't have to go back and start the process of each time they dump the phone. what the patriot act did was extend the condor teller -- counterintelligence -- counterintelligence investigations. there investigations.
there is one other provision that matters and that is the so-called lone wolf. it's not a term i'd like but it's called the lone wolf provision by most people and that is if we can establish probable cause of summer in the country is up to terrible no good there is probable cause to believe they are an international terrorist of some sort but we can't prove what particular organization they are hooked up with. this provision would allow us the judge to authorize interception even if the can't say they are al-qaeda they are isil, there are aqap. these three are going to go way june 1 and i don't want them to get lost in the conversation about metadata. >> i want to return to your evil layer cake where you started for a minute in terms of the threats facing the country and the cybersecurity area. at the top of the layer cake you talked about some of the sophisticated nation-states. are you concerned about trends in terms of cybersecurity
threats are liberating down that layer cake to people like isil or other organizations that had distracted the tax at aramco in saudi arabia. now we have had the sony attack coming ashore as the united states. are you concerned about sophisticated malware proliferating through that layer cake and are you seeing evidence of that? >> i'm definitely concerned about it. can terrorists want mom's and again logic tells me that terrorists are a would have said two years ago are going to wake up to and now i have seen them starting to wake up to the idea that as hard as we have made it to get into the country physically they can get in as a photon at the speed up light and so yes i am concerned. i don't see it yet constructive malware in the hands of these terrorists but it makes too much sense that it is a tool that
they will eventually turn to. i see them already as starting to explore things that are concerning credit oil infrastructure in things like that but the logic of it tells me it's coming so of course i'm worried about it. >> if they don't have it right now do you see interest among some of these groups in obtaining these kinds of tools? >> yes. >> returning to information sharing we talked about coming to mention the fbi is working to flash messages out quicker. a variety of information sharing programs across the government what types of information sharing programs does the fbi have that you can offer in the private sector and what should companies consider joining with the fbi in terms of information sharing that would be useful to them and in for the government? >> we have a couple of our primary information sharing vehicles are through two programs one called domestic security alliance council which
is made up of the security folks from the biggest private enterprises and then we run that with dhs and something called infragard which focuses -- dee said focuses on cyberthreats and cybersecurity threats. infragard focuses primarily on the cyberthreat. i would encourage, let me back up from that. we have fbi offices in every community in this country. 56 field offices and than 400 resident agencies so we are everyplace and if you run an enterprise you should make sure you know someone from the fbi in one of our cyber squads or leadership wherever you are. i have told all of my field commanders make sure you know folks because as low-tech as it seems the best communication, the best notification is often a phonecall saying we think we have a problem in and can you send someone over so holy apart from the organizations and going to talk about you should know
people in your local at ei office and we can be sometimes be intimidating because we are behind locked doors and we have work and gifts. no that their mandate is to get to know them so you will knock on the door that will open. so deas and vergard are very important. what we are trying to do his part in vergard which has thousands of members rembrandt talked about the importance getting to machine speed up sharing. a malware investigator is this. we have long had a database of all the malware we have ever seen and our investigators when they are working a case will query it and see if the piece they are in countering in a particular place has been seen someplace else on what is known about it and cannot adopt similar to fingerprint database. we are trying to make that resource available to the private sector starting with the trusted partners and in vergard and allow them to connect
directly to the malware investigator database and then put their own malware samples and get a result within seconds or minutes that says this has been seen in los angeles and it connects to this thing to help them start to connect the dots. we think that smart in their interests and we think it's in our interest too as more people enter more samples of malware we will have more dots to connect. bennister and vergard so if you are in an vergard member i hope you'll ask about that and see if your enterprise can participate in that. >> it's potentially transformational. anytime i'm unwilling that al? >> i forget the number. we have got hundreds of companies now participating and again that allows the chief information security officer has to be somebody we know because we don't want crazies they could be crazies, we want trustworthy crazies hooking up to her database. we give them an on line password and they come to an on line
portal connect to it and query the database. my vision of that is that she continued to grow. it should be able to scale without they -- the limit is we have to make sure that we know that people are that are connected to it. >> given the fact that our digital lives are central across everything that we do you have lots of department of the government recovering -- covering different areas and a friend missions of the economy. you have the department of homeland security and the protection of infrastructure programs the national cybercenters that they have run and the secret -- the department of defense concerned about a variety of other departments and agencies. talk a little bit about how you and at the i coordinate with these other agencies in dealing with the private sector in the variety of programs that are out there, how you deconflicted essentially the lanes of the road. >> it's been a central feature
working inside the government for the last decade so no thanks to me it's gotten dramatically better the court nation. explain to folks when i left government in 2005 i visualized it as 4-year-old soccer. i have five children so i've watched a lot of 4-year-old soccer. 4-year-old soccer is everybody knows the ball is the cool thing so they follow the ball and a big clump. 10 years ago cyber was the cool thing. everybody was following in a big clump. we have now gotten to a place where we are probably college-level soccer. we get the importance of positioning and lanes and passing in defense and offense. it's not good enough frankly because the adversary is playing at world cup speed sometimes but we have gotten a lot better. among the things that have helped us get there and one of the most important vehicles is a
task force located out of d.c. called the national cyber investigated joint task force, ncijtf 420 agencies it together and among other things the conflict talk about the major intrusions we are seeing seeing. first of all visualize it together, share information so we visualize it together in a spectacular room we have there and take your out who should do what about this? here's how i conceive of the responsibilities which is probably a homely metaphor but here's how i hold in my head great if i match in the country as a neighborhood my job is to deal with people breaking into your homes and stealing your stuff or harming your families and so i patrol that neighborhood respond to 911 calls to try and catch the bad guys, patrol the neighborhoods to see who scoping out the houses to break into to try to make the neighborhoods safer. dhs's responsibility is to think in a systemic way how do we make
a safer neighborhood? i the people burglar proof their homes. [inaudible question] we make the entire neighborhood a safer place quext is a better lighting? is a better signage? it's a safer parks and patrolling? we are in the same space patrolling that neighborhood with different focuses. the secret service which is part of dhs with the responsibility similar to mine their focus is staying with my neighborhood metaphor on the banks of the institutions of those neighborhoods responding to to burglaries they are. they are worrying about who is staking out a scoping out those banks. we have gotten a whole lot better about talking to each other and understanding we are both in the neighborhood with important things to do. when the secret service in particular have made great progress in working together in the last couple of years. so much work to be done that it makes sense to work together in dhs as a whole and the fbi think we have a better understanding of each other of each other in our world so we are patrolling thethe neighborhood in a way and
sharing what we see even though it relates to different objectives in a much better way. nsa has the responsibility for a neighborhood. if you imagine the neighborhood is an island and essays responsibilities to figure out who is trying to come on in off the island in order to commit or greece on the ivan neighborhood we inhabit? we need their visibility because the critical part of protecting the neighborhood systemically from dhs and me for stopping break-ins is wanting to know what criminals are coming to that island? that's the three players who touch the neighborhood and one of the ways we have accomplished more effective patrolling is sitting together. as low-tech as it seems, sitting together. all of you who have worked in the government know that it's hard to hate up close, that you can think the fbi what a bunch of they are except for the guy or gal's in the next cubicle
from you. they are okay. it's the rest of the fbi there at are a bunch of arrogant but if you get enough of that you start to blend people together. different missions but they come to appreciate each other. we have spent a decade blending that way. we still have a ways to go. sometimes the dump a little bit trying to understand her missions but it is by far the exception whereas 10 years ago it was the 4-year-old soccer where everyone is elbowing each other. >> that covers the domestic side of this of course m&a the cyberthreats are coming at us from an international perspective that require who operation from a variety of other nations from the fbi to apprehend criminals or to take other actions. how are you finding cooperation with international partners particularly where gangs and a lot of these other threats are in the main? >> in the main extraordinarily
good. other nations understand that the cyber threat or the vector that is cyber blows away conceptions of border and all of us are next-door neighbors on the internet. what i find when i travel 20 foreign partners and i've had many visitors come to see, all of those conversations are people saying we have got to figure this out because the keyboards may be in my company and the victims in america. that's not good for any of us let's figure this out. what they are hungry for his training equipment and information so what we are trying to do as a country, fbi in particular is forward-deployed more analysts and more cyber special agents. but those in the countries where the police and the domestic national security apparatus is our hungry to stop the threat. i've visited romania recently were wanted things chuck vesco
invested in less technical education so we had a huge number of people with great technical chops and then you have a whole lot of unemployment people he easily susceptible to organized criminal groups. the romanians are hungry to stomp that out. it wants from many to be known as a source of criminal activity so we are trying to equip them with information and training so they can help us respond to that. there are nations around the world who shall remain nameless who are not so enthusiastic about working with us to try and stop cybercriminals and thieves but they are the exception. that's actually one of the good news stories i think of the last decade or two. the internal cooperation and international cooperation. as a feature of every conversation i have with a foreign counterpart. >> any overhang from the post noted world on that international cooperation or it has that continued unabated?
>> when i travel i say -- i were a sign saying not the nsa so that gophers -- goes over well. they see it as they should see it as a huge part of it. overwhelmingly it's criminal activity. it's stealing innovation identity money increasingly threats to children because all of our children play on mine. that's where people who want to hurt her children go so it's about pedophiles and fraudsters and thieves and stalkers and money launderers are all in that space. so there is common cause. whatever friction there might be in other areas there is common cause of that kind of thing. we could have productive conversations with the chinese about criminals trying to stop criminals who are using the connections between our countries because everybody sees it as we can agree nobody wants children harmed. nobody wants money stolen.
>> while we are talking about misperceptions what misperceptions do you hear from the private sector that frustrate you or that you would want to correct in terms of what you hear from the private sector about the fbi role in cybersecurity with responding to incidents where there've been misunderstandings that you hear from time to time? >> i don't hear a lot of misunderstandings with respect to the bureau. i often hear frustration expressed that our country is not doing enough to stop especially nation-state that wholesale theft of intellectual property. we hear that frustration a lot. i know it's something because i've been involved in the conversations that are holed government is focused on in concerned about and as i said earlier trying to move us towards a place where the norms of behavior would not encompass that kind of thing. some of the imposing of costs and sanctions and shaming criminal charges as part of an
effort to try to deter that they either. often diplomacy is focused on that but the frustration i hear from private enterprise is real and there isn't an easy answer to that. >> soviet administration has taken some steps in terms of trade sanctions. you have the fbi involved in criminal indictments of people who participate in cybersecurity incidents additional actions we can take to stem the theft of intellectual property? >> thank goodness i'm able to avoid the prop -- conversation because it's not the fbi's thing but people say why don't we go back up the pipe bense people? oftentimes i have a private company saying maybe we should go back up the pipe and people and i say that would be a crime don't do that. but there is a frustration out there that is helpful and as i
said there isn't an easy answer to that. >> going back up the pipe you are talking about the private sector taking action against those who steal data and it's not something you are going to recommend. >> for a variety of reasons. your access to someone else's system without authorization would violate our laws and it would potentially have all kinds of unforeseen consequences. it's hard enough for government actors to act in cyberspace in a way that you can protect effects. that would be a recipe for disaster. >> let's turn to legislation for a minute. we talked about some of the things in the news section 215 of the patriot act issues around encryption. one thing that hasn't gotten a lot of attention is legislation that is now the past by use of representatives and passed out of the senate intelligence committee that seems to have strong support in
favor of congress coming together in passing this information sharing legislation to encourage the sharing of information with the government and the private sector. any thoughts about what we are going to see there are? >> i don't know what the prospects are for legislation. it makes good sense to me as i could to offer the general counsel that lover of -- that level of comfort. frankly i see events running over the general counsels anyway in a sense. people understand the imperative for sharing information. so i almost wonder, think legislation is important and necessary but it's actually nice nice -- less necessary than it was two years ago because people get it now and anyone who didn't get it gets it after sony that whatever my concerns might be an frankly i've never had the antitrust concern but whatever concern i might have about how the government is going to use this given i will be sharing it with an fbi criminal investigation given what is in
it for me to get the help the fbi offers the general counsel's concerns are noted but that being said legislation will give a belt to those suspenders i suppose. >> so it has more of a cultural impact than addressing things like antitrust concerns we see as valid concerns in the past? >> i don't mean to belittle it. general counsels have legitimate questions about what is our exposure and what will happen if we give out this information. i'm just saying that people sense of the threat has changed so much just in the last two years that those concerns don't dominate in the way they might have two years ago. that's what i mean by legislation in the way it's going to fix the problem but not in as important away as it would have had months ago. now people say i get it there are marginal risk associated with sharing with the government. this can blow up our entire company.
we are going to share with her entire government and get the help we need. >> how is the fbi in terms of cyber resources? there such a demand for qualified cyber professionals and you are competing with the private sector. can you offer some things that the fbi can't in terms of salary and other things? i was the fbi doing on resources? >> we are doing okay but it's a continual challenge. the advantage i have been away is the value proposition is so different in the private sector that there almost isn't really a competition. that is if people are interested in money i can help you at all but a few are interested in the life of meaning i can help you with that and so the people that we are attracting are the people who don't only care about that to and so in a real sense my competitors are listed during people throwing buckets of to and the rest of government so i
mr. snowden? >> yes. [laughter] eight is said much of the pursuit because we know where he is. i don't want to say much because he should have the opportunity to appear and meet charges in a fair system in the world he should have that opportunity people talk about the telephony embedded data but my view is you have to see the entire scope of his work before user rendering judgment what you think personally what he did i take serious criminal charges have been brought in a pending we just need him to appear. >> we are at these
conferences talking about the cyberthreat proliferation of the different actors out there and how difficult the problem is with the private sector to see him hopeless is there progress we are making that we don't talk about it with revelations of stolen data or intellectual property to make progress in the way with the threat? >> there is good news. i would not say it overwhelms the bad but the private enterprise gets it at its act together in the ways that make it harder to have the doors kicked in
with things stolen in we're getting much more effective as a community of nations are getting much better to take a gander rest the serious criminal actors to send of message. there is so long parade of cases i don't think retroact jurors no longer see this as easy that is the piece of good news. it is still early but the private sector is investing is a the hygiene to make it harder we are getting better and talking to each other and on the other side of the ocean to see those early days of change behavior. >> what about the bad actors that are out there? >> especially of the criminal side i do think there is a sense or a
theater to lay hands on russian actors around the world that sends a chill through the criminal world because they thought but now we shrink it back we are human and we are flawed but we are dogged. it will never go away. we will find you eventually people say you indicted the five chinese military actors but they are in china for kosher. but it is a small world. everybody wants to visit their children or go get a for an education and as the world gets smaller opportunities to oppose real cost increase. >> with that we can bring it to a close. thank you for sharing your time. [applause]
continue negotiations over reestablishing for multiple medical relations, the senate foreign relations committee held a hearing on the relationship with cuba. state department officials discussed the aims of the talks and the potential for human rights reforms in cuba. senator bob corker chairs this hearing. [inaudible conversations]
will senator senate foreign relations committee will come to order. thanks for your interest. today re will hear from the state department secretary of affairs on the strategy behind the president's shift of u.s. policy toward cuba the assistant secretary is joined at the witness table by the counselor of the state department's ambassador thomas shannon. we welcome you both cuba has been left behind politically and economically a far cry from decades ago when it was among the most populous countries in the region the administration's cuba policy initiative has been welcome in latin america and the caribbean. but significant differences which we will share to day of opinion in the united states over to the
extent of which the change of policy one finance u.s. interest to improve circumstances for the cuban people. to david look forward to our witnesses to speak to how our nation can vesting gauge strategically with the region to help cuba rejoin the mainstream of america and to offer services the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens of other countries. to this end our witnesses can help understand the policy with regards to cuba and what they attend to achieve to restore full diplomatic relations to relax sanctions and also really like to hear the assessment of what did you then the government goals are with the process of the united states every policy initiative will inevitably come into contact with the reality the cuban states
relationship with its own citizens that have not yet change we have to define what a normal relationship with cuba looks like bilateral labor also and the context of the america's relationship. the overall relations with latin america and the caribbean have evolved significantly over the past decade. the last military intervention occurred 20 years ago in haiti. it has more than doubled from 2000 through 2012 pay of up process to increase trade with the united states planned american countries have taken steps for more transparent standards. among the region is for regular multi-party elections and institutions to reflect the commitment by
a the region to governments that our more inclusive. the relationship is very different than the spanish-american war or during the of cold war of 1959. this is a larger strategic context in the way for word with cuba will be and thank you very much to be here from my distinguished ranking member. >> thank you mr. chairman i welcome our witnesses today for conducting this hearing. no question in december 17 action by president obama is a historical speech of a watershed moment with members of the committee who believe they went too far and others to believe they did not go far enough but we have an open committee
hearing and discussion why i think the chairman to bring forward this hearing to engage in discussion on the new direction with cuba. also to celebrate long overdue mr. gross and with consent i would ask his statement to be included in the record. we all are interested to hear from witnesses with the opportunity to review the events is achieved under the new cuba policy that the strategy moving forward without a doubt is a complicated process to take time to achieve. i would underscore there is one issue even though we have different views with
the cuban policy but from the united states senate is to see the cuban people have the opportunity to build a society where freedoms are respected and democratic value is tolerated individuals can work to improve living conditions. we also share concerns about the critical issues of the ongoing issue of human rights and fugitives in cuba especially those wanted for the murder of u.s. law enforcement officers. but how can we best advance these aspirations while addressing these concerns. it did not achieve the progress so a new approach is needed.
it laid out a new path based on engaged in to bring more results this is the right path. for far too long the government has used u.s. policy as an excuse to justify the shortcomings of the people the cuban government has exploited u.s. policy for diplomatic gains about what the u.s. should do rather than what cuba should do for its citizens it is a challenge in our own hemisphere where the closest boarder's will speak critically about the policy rather than conditions. has reset the geopolitical calculus to provide new opportunities for cooperation. the recent summit of the americas showcases this
point clearly and obama was praised widely for leadership and a particular development to join obama to meet with cuban dissidents it was an incredibly important moment to show the international community. i want to thank senator boxer had the chance to hear from that hearing and that was important also. such acts to see latin american president to be members of the cuban opposition was unthinkable six months ago. and those differences with the government of foreign policy endeavor to supported the country to the greatest degree possible. refers came to office had greater flexibility for
cuban-americans to send remittances. the early policy changes provided support to the emerging class of entrepreneurs that care of launch initiatives working out of their own home. of the government still limit its activities wide lead not alcan take advantage but policy is responsible for helping the cuban people hovel a new degree of independence. the announcement went one step further to make it easier for u.s. citizens to engage in travel to cuba. philanthropic or business or academic reasons they now have greater opportunity for people to people programs with increased interaction. no doubt the american society will make a positive contribution to provide them with the information they need.
while it made changes to regulations to think that only congress can do. for that reason i am a co-sponsor of the freedom to travel to cuba act to do everything we can and the citizens of the united states and i hope we have the opportunity to discuss that bill. it will provide diplomats the new tools to engage with some of the government with the issues they disagree how they work together to have a common interest to resolve this interest. diplomats demonstrate to bring gauge the u.s. interest it is not unreasonable to think we have of better chance to address those outstanding claims for property confiscated or to return the fugitives to justice in the
united states if we engaged in direct dialogue to articulate our demands. it is a national interest to have channels of communications and diplomacy will make this possible. and to remain that these issues will speak out about them we cannot ignore the record of human rights and human trafficking every month there are way too many cases for what they say publicly breath he read rights and freedom of expression. i know that assistant secretary bylaws of earlier their share i welcomed the witnesses' comments on this development. mr. chairman redo welcome of the witnesses that will
testify today and take you for this opportunity. >> thank you very much. our first witnesses the honorable jacobson assistant secretary of state western hemisphere affairs has led the state department discussions regarding establishing diplomatic relations the second witnesses the ambassadorship and to the state department most recently serving as american ambassador to brazil, also as senior director for the national security council. keep your comments brief and we will accept your written testimony. thank you. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify on
u.s. cuba policy today and you're interested in the hemisphere more broadly. i will underscore this moment it is remarkable to see how u.s. relations are increasingly characterized by mitscher partnerships and values. ha the partnerships with canada and brazil improvement and mexico is extraordinary. also to work with central america and the trade go countries including the f y 2016 request to strengthen regional security and good governance. since i last appeared in february we see the new approach on cuba providing space for other nations around the world to focus on promoting respect for fundamental freedoms at the summit of the ameritech is engaged in by the president
and secretary reinvigorated our momentum that has drawn attention to the greater political and economic freedom and the gap between cuba and other countries more americans are traveling to cuba to have a shared understanding of the people am practicing cooperation in the dialogue with issues of the national interest of maritime national aviation security and environmental cooperation in the discussion on law-enforcement coupled with ongoing migration cost to expand those avenues available to return from justice among others we're planning our future talks on human-rights for properties and most importantly the president's tour approach makes it clear the u.s. can no longer be blamed as an obstacle to progress to connect cubans to the world.
fundamentally i am a realist is anyone has ever dealt with cuba knows that it is the central. as the president made clear prior to both the meeting with raul castro the significant differences remain as we raise our concerns regarding democracy and freedom of expression the policy is based on a strategy that empowers the cuban people to determine their future to create space economic opportunities to increase contacts with the hillside role they create new connections to help make the private sector. the comprehensive changes will require congressional action to lift the embargo and the president needs a congress to lift that effort to rescind their state sponsor of terrorism designation is how we have
emphasized although we have tried to reestablish diplomatic relations we are not there yet there are outstanding issues that need to be addressed to ensure a future of the sea can function like others in the world but even today the diplomats unite families -- families, provide services, issue a visa and aid in refugee resettlement. our engagement with cubans will expand once we establish diplomatic relations and we will hold a new round of talks to a finance these objectives as we move ahead we hope we can work together to find a common ground to enable the cuban people to determine their own future. thank you. i welcome your questions.
>> mr. chairman remember and numbers of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. as noted resubmitted our testimony so i will hit a few high points for carbide to start to stated some of pleasure to appear before you with ms. jacobson to is our diplomat in the americas but my purpose today is to address the regional context in which our cuba policy is unfolding today about the strategic dimensions of diplomacy. day international relations board once wrote the purpose is not to preserve a presence but to create the future to note that global engagement whether diplomacy or force is to defend one tie future against another we should understand the
president's a policy against cuba to engage to seek normalization attempts to create a new train to pursue a future that leads to redressed the desire to those in nova benefits of liberty is no less for action the president said to be clear of the individual liberty he has also been clear about the inability to affect the change to act alone across so many decades that the efforts are more effective to position squarely with the american system to recognize democracy as a right that belongs to all people of our hemisphere and believes democracy is essential to political and social development to have treaties
and agreements to do give shape and form to these but this type of environment is to be all the legitimate agent with the cuban people. but to understand the point better to take up closer look of what it is a part of in the second decade of the 21st century the americas and specifically latin america has anticipated the events shaping our world today that has moved from authoritarian to democratic government to close or open economies to regional integration and globalization. a few points are worth making in this regard. first latin america is the first region to commit itself to democracy. . .eciable
institutions and mechanisms for dialogue because of this it is also built economies for the free trade and integration but perhaps most latin america today is pursuing a second generation of change and attempting to use democratic governance and institutions to build democratic societies and states. the great experiment in latin america today is to show that democracy can deliver an economic development and social inequities of poverty, inequality and social exclusion. they show that democracy efforts can handle and in fact latin america has used it to launch a peaceful social resolution that is transforming many in the region in long-lasting waves. our ability to promote profound
and dramatic change in latin america is an example of what the united states can apply with such engagement. if we found through the engagement why not find same with cuba and why not try to partnership with countries ended and institutions that are not are paired to work with us because of the president's policy. he finds itself part of a dynamic region where transformative changes into walking through back now and it finds where the momentum will continue to reshape political economic and the landscape. the cuban people will find many models and partners which to learn and choose. >> thank you. >> i want to thank the committee for the way that it's handled and that there have been some difficult issues that's when we
began this year and i know there's a significant difference rather than the policy laid out and i think we have those differences of opinion presented because i wasn't used to the q-and-a. one of the questions i do from the beginning has been one of the specific changes in cuba that we have negotiated or asked for or as it relates to this policy change. it's my sense but there have been none and i wonder if you might expand on it. the question of are there specific things that we expect.
>> what's important to understand is the as the majority of the things the president did. they are in our interest and the interest of the people. the regulatory changes that allow for the greater purpose for travel and allow for support indeed the normalization itself to pursue engagement and the diplomatic relations must be worked out mutually with the government but the rest of the measures that were taken to support and indeed to and how worth were things that were not negotiated. they were actions and policies
of. we believe in the entrepreneurs and in particular begins to mature communications in cuba will make a difference in the ability of the citizens to determine their own future. so they were not negotiated in e govent they were not negotiated with the cuban government. do you want to expand on that any? >> so let me ask you and go a different direction, since you mention technology it was an interesting thing to announce the u.s. companies were better off technology wise but it's my understanding the cubing government doesn't allow much
access to the outside world in terms of communication. we made a big deal out of the announcement but what's the point if they don't allow their citizens to participate in that way? >> i think it's very important that the cuban government has said part of the un's effort to open information to citizens around the world they want to expand access for the cuban people and we are hopeful that will happen. there is not access where most citizens are or it's expensive and not available. it's not necessarily they can have in their own home. the cuban government and cuba in general to have more up to date infrastructure on television to munication and technology is critical to the modernization of the economy, therefore we would like american companies to be
part of bringing better information technology to cuba which is why they felt it was important to allow american companies to do so. the cuban government hasn't made decisions to move forward with that. there are american companies that are working with the cuban government and there's no doubt there is a desire for greater information by the cuban people and we would like to do everything we can to enable that. >> since we didn't negotiate and i understand that this has changed as we thought it was in our interest, what is is it that you think even though we didn't negotiate or try to leverage in any way, what do you suspect that policy will incur in cuba
as a result of these changes? >> there has already been some limited economic reform. the ability of a half million or more entrepreneurs go into 200 or so approved businesses and business areas and private self-employment and that is an area that i think is ripe for support that the regulation support. i think there will be many more of these entrepreneurs emerging and they will be able to offer and expand megabyte agents for change within cuba. there is obviously very different views on political and economic issues. the president has been clear on that. we that.
we have seen that engagement of citizens by average americans who are going for purpose travel and the ability for private sector to increase and hopefully information to increase, and were not sure what the cuban government will do in the face of these things. things. i think they are still absorbing our changes and making their own policy decisions. we know from polling that has been done inside, the narrative of the economic priorities citations and the other disadvantages to the cuban people no longer are blamed on the united state. that narrative is the road in. >> i want to i wanna thank you for the time both of you spent in my office on another matter and i i know we talked about the briefing in general. i wonder if ambassador shannon could talk about the effect this policy announcement has had on our ability in the region to
address other areas of importance for our country? >> inc. you very much, this is an important component of this policy. in order to engage with cubans we have to remove the limitations of how we work with partners in the region and it has over time made it one of our most in porton institutions. i mentioned in my testimony that your region has built a series of reasonable mechanisms to build dialogue. for the most part those have been very positive but in some instances some institutions have been built, speaking particularly in the caribbean nations, to prevent to permit them to have
conversations among themselves with cuba when we are not present. therefore by working toward normalization we create an opportunity for the americans to reassert itself as premier economic and social institutions in the americas. i believe this is an opportunity we need to take advantage of. in particular, in regard to cuba, they understand and know that cuba is the only country that has not made an explicit commitment to democracy. they have not recognized democracy as a right to all the people of the americas. we are now in a position to press them to work harder on giving people the right to choose within cuba. >> think you very much. >> well again thank you both for being here.
the report acknowledges that cuba is an authoritarian state and quoting the principal human rights they have the right to change the government and use that government to prevent physical violence, intimidation free peaceful assembly, they continue harsh prison conditions and denial of fair trials and dealing with invasion of privacy. they do not respect the freedom of speech, they severely restrict internet access, they maintain significant restriction on certain religious groups. most human rights abuses were official acts committed by the
government and was widespread. that was all in the most recent report. the independent human rights organization documented in the first four months of this year 100 cases of politically motivated issues. that's what we've seen in cuba over the last three years. i want to get specific here for a moment as to how you intend to evaluate cuba's progress in terms of human right views and the tools at our disposal to advance that. there's a consensus organization and yet it's known globally for its commitment to advance human rights and has been very successful. i'm not aware of the other group having the same success
advancing human rights in our own hemisphere. how do you intend to use these organizations now that we have removed this obstacle as you see it for having credibility to raise these issues. how do we intend to use the u.s. leadership to advance human rights progress in cuba and how can we evaluate whether or not were making progress in that area? >> senator, thank you. i think there's a couple things. first there's no doubt we will continue to write human right reports that are honest of what's going on in cuba and there will continue to be short-term issues that should not be going on harassing individuals preventing them from having their rights exercise.
there is a range of tools in terms of speaking out. we also have another tool at our disposal including the human rights dialogue which will move forward. there is no doubt from the preliminary conversations that we've had that we have very distinct abuse of human rights and international recognized human rights. rights. we will now be able to have that conversation much more directly going forward. in terms of international organizations and our ability to work with others in those organizations, as you know suspended from the oas and may have been since 1962 but the question of looking at human rights issue in cuba as ambassador shannon said, whether they are living up to the commitment that all of the rest of us have made in the
democratic charter through schools like the commission on human rights those are tools which we are more able to use reference and discuss with our partners who are much more engaged and having that discussion with us post policy engagement. >> how would that be reflected? i understand my opening comments, how can we know that were making the progress? what do you intend to do and what allies would we have to make sure cuba is accountable for adhering to international recognized human rights? >> the best macro metrics of progress will be on the ground in terms of a reduction in short-term detentions or a growing ability of cubans of all
area to speak and exercise their democratic rights. i think the president was pretty clear on our understanding of not seeing changing cuba overnight, overnight, and as we work on this you have to understand that in powering cubans to take their own responsibility for these rights there will be progress and there will be setbacks. we will speak out about those we will work with other countries in the various international organizations, but organizations, but i can't tell you exactly what the agenda where we will talk with other countries we will certainly do so at the oas and the un human counsel or other instruments such as those. >> those. >> what leverage will we exercise over cuba in regard to our expectations that they will make progress in these
international human rights standards question. >> one of the things that is most important is the ability to have embassies and carry out the ability to travel around cuba and act with the widest number of cuban citizens which we haven't been able to do until now. that is vertical that our diplomats are the first person observers which also hasn't been the case in the past. that is obviously something were working on right now. >> what countries in our hemisphere do you believe you can work closely with him putting pressure on cuba to comply with these internationally recognized human rights? >> my view is there are many countries in the hemisphere that will work with us whether it's directly or behind the scenes. there are countries who have committed to human rights and countries around the hemisphere
such as coaster rica and colombia and peru and mexico have worked on tough human rights issues and will be in conversation with us. many in the region in the caribbean and central america will be working with us on this and are committed to the same goal. >> think you. >> thank you both for being here. >> before i get to my question i wanted to ask if there were _ these are not two distinct views. this is a view of human rights we have interview they have but there is no definition of human rights that their views are not legitimate or immoral. the theory that you can send thugs -- you would say this up front that their right isn't
just different from us, they are flat out wrong. >> we have said we don't think their views are in line with the international standards. >> so they are flat-out wrong? >> i don't think they are right yes. >> there's right, yes. >> there's no moral equivalent of between their beliefs and hours? >> that is not what i was saying >> okay, good. i want to talk about travel. hotel magazine wrote that the cuban military subsidiary which is a holding company that controls a large part of that economy it has hotel holdings equivalent to the walt disney hotel holdings.
let me read you something they wrote a few years ago about this network. >> tourists who sleep in these hotels and drive around and fill up their gas tanks have something in common. they are contributing to the armed forces bottom line. it is saying if you travel to cuba and stay in a hotel you are staying there run by the military, and if you rent a car you're renting it from the military. if you fill up a gas tank you are filling up the cuban military. if you are staying in a hotel it is most likely a confiscated hotel. they took it from a private owner who was never compensated for it. not only are you putting money in hands of the cuban government, you are staying in
stolen goods. they were never compensated for it. so if we have more travel to cuba, what were really talking about is more income for the cuban military. is that accurate? >> yes, states including the military run many of those hotels and other infrastructures. we also now have an increasing number of peoples individuals homes that are being used as hotels and we are going to be working on that. there are private entrepreneurs who are trying to support the purposeful travel to. >> why wouldn't we say if you travel to cuba you can only stay in these nongovernmental nonmilitary owned facilities? you can travel to cuba but you
cannot stay in a property that was stolen or owned or operated by the cuban government which includes even the foreign flag hotels because they have ownership there. >> there is a strong belief that we are aware there will be some financial government that the cuban government will gain by the larger amount of americans going to cuba. those numbers cannot be supported only by individual homes, for example the benefit the cuban people of this larger number of americans going far outweighs the economic benefit that may occur for the cuban government. >> bottom line, you agree if you travel to cuban you are staying in a stolen property run by the government and with that said the fact that there's going to be americans present their outweigh the benefit that are
from, which cuban hotel is not owned or operated by the government? >> i said i said that i assume most of them are state run because of the joint ventures. >> all of them are state run are any of them not state run? >> i don't know sir, but i assume they are all run by the government. there are some bed-and-breakfast type run by private individuals. purposeful travel are very, very important to cuban people and seen by the cuban people as a benefit to them. >> i want to talk about the internet for aim moment. they have restricted access to the internet. their own president said that our own sanctions deny citizens to the access they need to empower the people. >> there is no south korean embargo on korea on cuba and is it not true at the end of the day, internet access is not a function of the embargo on cuba is it not true that the voice the vast majority is as a result of cuban government censorship?
>> i think the denial of access has been one of policy and one of in terms of in regard to american access, we are taking one of those two things away. they can now have access to u.s. products which is good for them. >> i have samsung, why is it that all these other countries on the world don't have an embargo on cuba, why haven't they been able to offer wi-fi and all the other things we have. have. it's not a capacity issue. it's ultimately because the cuban government won't allow it. >> there is some instant
infrastructure that needs to be present to utilize and so policy is a big part of it and we don't know whether that policy will change. they have said they want to modernize their telecommunications sector. >> why didn't sector. >> why didn't they do it with the japanese, the koreans or any other number of countries around the world that have internet and technology capabilities outside of the u.s.? >> i'm hoping they want our product and i'm hoping we will see many other types of cell phone technologies on the island that is not connected to anything yet. will they be open to something that allows economic development to enter the modern world and connect to the world? >> senator boxer. >> thank you as the ranking
member on this committee, i really appreciate you looking at this. i do want to pick up on what senator rubio was discussing in a little bit different way. when you listen to my colleague you would think this is the only country in the world that we are starting to have relations with where the states own hotels. a lot of my colleagues maybe all my colleagues on the republican side i can't be sure but i think most would go up with a free trade agreement that goes with vietnam. a communist country that owns all the hotels and pays minimum wage of 70 cents. but still we have relations with them. the reasons we have relations with them are geopolitical reasons and we want to help change these places. i think my colleague with his line of questioning has really proven a point because russia
and their hotels are owned by the country china are we going to start telling people what hotels to stay in in china and russia and vietnam? we don't do that. people choose to stay in cuba that would make me happy, that is a san francisco company. francisco company. that is the first u.s. business to take advantage of new economic opportunities in cuba. a new jersey-based telecommunications company announced an agreement to launch a telephone service in u.s. and canada. so y'all need to talk to each other. they have an opportunity to make
an incredible difference in the lives of these cubans by connecting them to the outside world. now there's plenty of problems and challenges, there's no question about that. i was going to ask you ambassador or assistant secretary jacobson, what is the greatest area and what can we expect from this upcoming round? >> i think the greatest progress so far is the acceptance by both sides that we do want diplomatic relations and we have our standing that we will be able to operate in cuba in a a way that allows us to engage with more cubans. that is incredibly important and you can see that as really critical to this whole
engagement process. in terms of what we will talk about tomorrow it's getting the rest of the agreement for an embassy that operates similar to the way we operate in some other countries. >> thank you, mr. secretary you testified in february about the new policy on human rights and cubit. i asked you about the new policy in u.s. relations to other countries in the region and the world. the reaction was immediate and extremely positive and i was very pleased about that. we also discussed the importance of engaging leaders on the issues of human rights. has the administration been able to reach and gain international support to increase pressure for
exploiting the violations of these freedoms and oppression and use of the citizens. has there been any further discussion and engaging our partners on those issues? >> i do think we've had conversation with many of our partners that have been much more productive than they were in the past. i certainly would second what senator hardin said that the president was able to have a roundtable discussion with other presidents including two cuban independent activists as well as 16 others from around the hemisphere and that was something very unusual. they would not have necessarily sat with the u.s. president for this policy change and the cuban people who were there were able to connect with others around
the hemisphere which hadn't been done in the past. i also think the reaction of the panamanian government to things that happen in panama including government sponsored non- government organizations preventing the full exercise of freedom of speech in the civil society forum was very simple on how democracies operate and that was a change in what we've seen in the past. >> in order to meet human rights activists is very important see no evil is kind of as far as it goes sometimes. i think it's very important. they said they will step down in 2018 and this would be the first time since 1959 that cuban would not be led by one of the castro
brothers. president castro is grooming his first vice president to succeed him. can you talk about the importance of this transition of power in cuba and could you shed some light on this vice president? >> i'm not sure i can shed much light in this area but i would say the position that is taking place is not just one of a normal or cuban election that is taking place in 2018. it's a generational change. it's the exit of the castro brothers which is very significant and there are changes in the way that elections are going to be done. it's still not what we would like to see in a democratic party election but he is the
next generation of leaders. we have not met with him but i know many of you have who have gone to cuba. there may be more knowledge and the congress than we have. >> i will close with this, i think the 2018 election will be a real test but if we can focus on democracy and freedom and fairness there is a there's a very specific thing we can work on and i'm going to work on that myself. >> without objection. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to talk about the legal authority that obama is using to take his actions. in 1996 in reaction to the cuban downing of two civilian aircraft congress passed the cuban liberty and solidarity act.
the purpose was to assist the cuban people in gaining their freedom and prosperity. also to join the democratic countries and the third reason is to provide the continued national security from the united states and the castro government. that was the purpose. i think it was noteworthy about the act is that it codified our restrictions under the control regulations that were enacted by and coming in from the treasury department in 1963. it codified the cuban embargo and what's noteworthy is that this had long-lasting effect on policy. it prevented them from lifting the economic embargo without
congressional discussion and conditions were met. those conditions were outlined in section 203 it says in making a determination that a democratic elected government cuba is in power. the president shall submit that determination to the appropriate congressional committees. so let me first ask, did the president make a demo a determination that a democratic government is now in power? >> the president has not taken action under those actions of that act. he has not invoked that part or any part of that
act to take the actions he has taken. >> he simply doesn't feel that he has to refer to that act? what is he doing if he's not lifting the embargo? what is this? i think he's reading it. >> i think the president has made it very clear that the congress is the only group that can lift the embargo. he called on congress to do so therefore he has made clear that he does not have the authority to lift the embargo. >> what is he doing? >> what he's taken our executive actions and regulatory changes with the embargo still in place. as you know there were for years exceptions and continue to be exceptions to the embargo on agriculture. changes make their changes on telecommunication and to support their private sector in cuba. those are the kinds of exceptions to the m bargo that are in the executives.
>> you agree with the primary purpose of that act to enhance the financial security of america and protect the cuban people? do you think that was the primary purpose? >> certainly what we want is a democratic government in cuba and the question of our own national security should always be paramount. >> investor shannon, i was struck by your attitude that democracy and freedom is flourishing. certainly we have some good examples but i'm not seeing a whole lot happening in venezuela or cuba. help me out in terms of what you're talking about. >> there is no.that democracy is
not flourishing in cuba. that's part of the presidents effort to pursue a new approach to see what more we can do to help the cuban people begin their own political opening. as you look back over the last several decades what you can and knowledge about our hemisphere is that this is a region that was largely ruled by authoritarian government. they have found through its commitment to human rights and its ability to organize and use americans institution to develop ground human right issues and use that to fuel democracy. whether it's our work in central america to trace down insurgencies and allow elections to take place and governments to take over, whether it's what we've done in columbia and argentina and brazil, i think
this hemisphere has distinguished itself over the last three decades. >> the primary purpose is anybody going to make the case that the regime has been promoting democracy in this hemisphere? is it not true that they are still supporting the repressive regime in venezuela? isn't that true? >> what the cuban government has done and what we asserted in the report that we sent congress is the support that we have seen recently support for the peace process that's going on in cuba between the cuban government,
obviously that was not always the case in the past, but we think they are playing a constructive role in that process. in venezuela it's a different issue, but i think in many areas we do not see cuba in national security terms. we believe the engagement through deppe maddock relations will be far better in our interest than the previous policy of isolation. >> if the people need to gain their freedom and prosperity it's not because of the embargo they been able to trade freely with the rest of the world. i'm not seeing that happening through this engagement. just because the u.s. is going to be allowed to trade with them. >> you're certainly right that their economic system has not made them a magnet for trade from other countries. in other words, other countries could have in an been trading
with them more than they are, but the government has to make that possible. there has to be a narrative of the u.s. embargo and this is the reason for those economic problems and we have taken that excuse away so it will be obvious that the problems are the lack of movement and their system. >> thank you secretary. >> today is the 113th anniversary of cuban independence day. it is a bittersweet day given the cuban people's languishing for more than 55 years under a dictatorship. as assistant secretary jacobson reopens negotiations between cuba and the u.s. tomorrow, let me be frank, i have concerns that the more these talks progressed, the more the administration continues to entertain unilateral concessions
without a return agreement on fundamental issues that are in our national interest and those in the cubans interest. these are not things we negotiated or decided unilaterally. the cubans and castro said you want a relationship, you gotta earn it. there are convicted spies including one that was convicted on can conspiracy to commit murder. you want a relationship, take us off this. check we gave the mat. you want to change the democracy programs that we do throughout the world we don't like those programs because they interfere with our regime. i woke up to an article that said you promote democracy programs in cuba which they have
long rejected. journalism and informational technology in havana. check. even though cuban violates the democratic order of the oas it doesn't matter who's invited to the table it's what's talked about but guess what, this message that is sent to the hemisphere, you can violate the democratic charter and still be a part of it so why not violate it if you're compelled to do so. it's pretty amazing. i have not seen any movement at all toward greater freedom. as a matter of fact a cuban blogger talked about 12 things
that tourists will never see. cubans can't access the internet on their cell phone or from their home. not because the infrastructure is in place but it's because the government won't let them. yes they want us to give them greater infrastructure but they want to control it. you can't live in havana without a permit. you can't live in havana without a permit from the government. no public demonstrations are allowed, imagine that. no investment in media or large program. no inviting a foreigner to spend the night without a permit in your own home. and many others, in violation
with the law. i asked that the article be included in the record for that objection. so here we are human rights with more than 16 hundred cases of arbitrary only five months into the year. president obama may have their hand but fidel castro still has their fist real tight. were back skyrocketing back up to human rights issues. including the rearrest of the people you negotiated be released. several of them have been rearrested. despite the desire to move in a different direction i don't feel we're getting anything in return. you've taken cuba off the
terrorism list. charles hill is wanted for killing a new mexico state trooper and hijacking a plane. they're both in cuba being protected by the regime. even though your counterpart has now said you have political asylum but will talk to about it. so i just don't see it. i'll quote my colleague who are so passionate and i listened about democracy and human rights in many parts of the world. but they're almost silent when they come to cuba. i hope we can keep the same standard. let me ask standard.
let me ask you madam secretary to your knowledge were you or any member of the state department told not to push for sanctions on cuba in violations of un security council resolution. the types of missiles that in fact were in the hall of a cargo ship being hidden where they were taken off and tried to hide it. was any member told not to push for sanctions at the un? >> not that i know of. >> to the un sanction cuban? >> not that i know of. >> you got a letter that said in fact cuba has not, under castro's regime, the government of cuba has never supported any acts of international terrorism
and that the cuban military has never been used to harm any part of the united states. do you expect everyone to believe that in the castro regime they've never tried to use the military of any act of terrorism over the last half-century? >> i can't say that i would urge you all to believe that it has never occurred. >> i hope you don't mean to suggest that historical examples that provide and support the fact that the cuban military shot unarmed planes carrying american citizens while pending
indictment from a united states jurisdiction against several individuals in cuba that in your negotiations in cuba about answering those indictments? >> that is why we will have the law-enforcement conversation for the justice department to be able to pursue -- >> do you understand who those indictments are against? >> yes sir. >> and do you think you're going to have conversations with those and tell them they're going to appear in court? i don't think so. you all came here and said that there's a reduction in put in arrest in january. not surprisingly these numbers climbed dramatically in the ensuing months with more than
450 political arrests and more than 600 in march. more than six to -- more than 1600 in the first four months of 2015. as i'm sure you know more than a hundred activists were arrested including 60 members following their attendance at a church. i guess they were right when they said the cuban government will only take advantage to strengthen its repressive groups because all these women were doing were marching in white to church. the result of that was to be beaten and thrown in prison. that is not success. the final thing i'll say i have a lot of other questions but
this is a one-sided deal. i don't know what we've got an inch return. we've got nothing in return. the cubans have gotten plenty in return. if that's our way of negotiating then we have a real problem on our hands and the message we sent to the western hemisphere i don't see her partners engaging with us because we changed our cuban policy, were not seeing much democracy in venezuela where we have challenges as well. i appreciate the courtesy because of my interest. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for being here today. in my career, i've watched and seen the u.s. strategy of engagement in various parts of the world.
china, the deer minnick and republic to mention a few. it's worked in some and not others. we by 32 billion gallons of oil from venezuela a year and it has not affected their regime. i have three concerns in regards to changing our relationship with cuba. the one is their support of terrorism, to is the human rights issues that continue
today and three is there activity in armed smuggling. i have a short question. in 2003, cuba attacked u.s. telecommunications, cuba has provided assistance including members of the regime. they continue to harbor fugitives including one listed on the fbi's most wanted list. they also allowed members of islamic extremist to enter venezuela. they provided passports and visas and other documentation to 173 individuals. let's talk about recent history. just since president zero started these secret negotiations since june 2013 there have been reportedly 15000 since december. to make it worse between february and march of this year increase of politically motivated arrests have increased
by 70%. as troubling as that is i'm more troubled by their continued activity in regard to armed smuggling. they have 240 tons of military equipment compass stated on the way to north korea. in 2003, it was intercepted literally tons of ammunition and explosives. the question is with this type of activity, what is your assurance that you can give us? with this kind of activity, why should we be optimistic that this will open up economic opportunities with this regime that these activities will stop.
>> it likely won't change behavior it's a longer process than this. secretary jacobson can address some of the more specific issues. the fact that these ships were stopped and inspected were significant. the fact that these items were found were significant and shows an ability to cooperate. this will deepen with time as people understand that the broader purpose of our diplomacy is not simply to normalize patients with cuba, build a relationship with cuba that will change how we try to tomorrow remote our interest in democratic values but also how we enhance integration inside the hemisphere.
partners that are leery of working with us because they do not want to be caught in the vortex of the animosity are going to be more open to engaging with us. i think we will be able to do more in the area of security and nonproliferation. >> can i ask a follow-up question. why wouldn't we make that a prerequisite? better behavior would lead to more economic relations. >> i think senator, if i could we all want the same and it's just a matter of how we motivate or how effectively we can help support change. the president believes firmly that the efforts we made in the past which were in fact to say
you must obey first and then we will engage, just didn't work. >> can i ask you a i ask you a question on that? >> we have evidence of cause-and-effect with several other countries having open trading relations with cuba and yet that engagement has not changed behavior. what makes you believe that today our opening up will have that effect? >> i think that's a fair point. we don't know yet what the effects of this policy will be on the cuban government. we do see already the effects or the beginning of the effect on the cuban people. we know there are cubans who are benefiting from this new policy in their independent businesses and in their belief that they're going to prosper and have a
better life because of engagement with the u.s. in working with them so we can now work together then we work together not just with our regional counterparts but with our european counterparts as well. that is more powerful and i think that have a a more galvanizing effect but it will be slow and i don't deny that. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator thank you. i want to talk a little bit about the region : the america is said caribbean by the general khaled to our 1 billion people to do the back of the envelope math 35 nations means 600 bilateral relationships between the nations in the region.
some of those are strong and friendly some of our week in and day changeover time. is there any other bilateral relationship does not include the normal diplomatic relationship other than united states and cuba? >> this is the onl you guys are the experts. >> no sir. >> this is the only bilateral relationships? i'm not aware of any war between. nations and the americas hour to concentrate now between nations. am i right about that? >> you are correct. c and the only civil war and their securityci challenges obviously of many kinds because we are 35 nations in a billion people but the only civil war in the region now has the war between the colombian government and farc